Grab your lunch and check out FHSA December Newsletter

December 2022 | The Monthly Newsletter of the Florida Head Start Association 

Letter from the Executive Director  

You may not have noticed since you all have been extremely busy, but the holiday season is upon us. The Head Start/Early Head Start world has undoubtedly been tested this past year. Programs have been dealing with stressors like trying to cover classrooms, finding qualified staff to continue with full enrollment, and seeing children with increased challenging behaviors. The holiday season does not make any of this go away or even better. The holidays do provide us with some time for self-care. Please carve out time to relax, reflect and recharge as we move into the New Year, as FHSA has some exciting plans for 2023. 

  1. FHSA will work with a dedicated team to tell the story of Florida's Head Start/Early Head Start programs by creating a data dashboard. This dashboard will help us build a statewide presence and showcase the contributions programs make in the lives of the most at-risk children and families we can serve. The dashboard will also explain how Head Start/Early Head Start programs contribute to the early childhood landscape.

  2. Every three years, FHSA hires a research consultant to conduct a Wage and Compensation Study.  This study is vital in assisting programs with evaluating and setting fair compensation rates and supporting compliance with Section 653 of the Head Start Act. We will reach out to Grantees soon to learn more about what information you need to include as we improve this member benefit. 

  3. FHSA is in early discussions with a like-minded early learning association regarding merging our annual conference.

  4. We understand the stressors at the program level, and we hear you! That's why we want to meet you where you are. FHSA will be developing regional events throughout the year. Stay tuned for more details. 

  5. FHSA will continue working with stakeholders at the national level and increase our presence at the state level to ensure the untiring voice of Head Start is heard and how we are a critical piece to the puzzle providing high-quality early learning experiences and crucial support to the whole child and family. 

As we move towards a new year, thank you for your continued support of FHSA and your work to ensure our most vulnerable children and families have access to the resources and support they need. Together, we can make a substantial difference that puts children and their families on the path to success in school, in work, and in life.

Stay Well, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director 

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Updates from the Florida HSSCO

The Pre-K Virtual Collaborative Inclusion meeting will be held on December 8th from 1:00-3:30. This presentation will include the opening remarks that were to be made at the in-person conference prior to the cancellation.  The in-person portion will be held on June 19-21 in Orlando with details to follow. You can register for the virtual session here: Pre-K Virtual Collaborative Inclusion Meeting Tickets, Thu, Dec 8, 2022 at 1:00 PM | Eventbrite

The Division of Early Learning has placed finalized stabilization funding guidance on their website, with all funding going through the local ELCs. You can learn more at COVID-19 Resources | DEL ( Head Start programs are encouraged to contact their ELCs to determine eligibility. 

The first three modules of the Social Skills Competency Based Training (SSCBT) were able to be completed on November 8th in Brevard County, and all members of the cohort will move on to next steps towards their endorsement.  Thank you to Terri Barlow from Brevard Public School Head Start for providing the training facility and support to complete this training.

The Count the Kicks Webinar was successfully completed, with participants learning valuable information related to maternal fetal health. 

The HSSCO wishes each of you a very happy and healthy holiday season. Each of you, along with your own families and staff, allow the wonderful work we are doing to happen. I know what we do matters to our children and families. I hope each of you can take some time to rest, connect with family and friends, and be present in the moment.

I look forward to our work together in the new year and hope to meet many of you in person. 

Thank you for all that you do-

Be safe and well-
Kim Singer
Head Start Collaboration Director

Office of Head Start Updates

Enrollment Reductions and Conversion of Head Start Slots to Early Head Start Slots

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued an Information Memorandum on November 7, 2022, regarding Enrollment Reductions and Conversion of Head Start Slots to Early Head Start Slots (ACF-IM-HS-22-09), that guide Head Start/Early Head Start programs about how to submit a change in scope and the factors that programs should take into consideration for such a request. Requests must be submitted at least 90 days before the proposed implementation date. 

Check out the Enrollment Reduction and Conversion Considerations that outlines critical questions and data to consider as part of the planning and development for both enrollment reduction and conversion requests. 

Time limited opportunity for more affordable health insurance for early childhood staff

Due to expanded tax credits, early childhood providers may now be eligible for more affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace Visit disclaimer page. As early childhood providers, you have played a crucial role for children, families, and communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to have the opportunity to expand more affordable health coverage to early childhood providers due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

Learn more about what coverage you may be eligible for through the Health Insurance Marketplace. 


Register to Attend FHSA Leadership Training & Annual Awards Luncheon February 8-9, 2023

We hope you attend this upcoming training event for directors, supervisors, managers, and all Head Start/Early Head Start leadership team members. During this event, we will showcase Head Start/Early Head Start programs' innovative work through a series of poster sessions. We will kick off the day with Dr.  Kimberly P. Johnson, Motivational Speaker, Children's author, educator, and Head Start alumni. Get ready for an interactive day working cohesively to create change through leadership, teaching, and diversity to help build a stronger leadership team.  

On day two, we will hear from the Early Childhood Policy Research Group at the UF Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies on their evidence-based framework for family engagement, followed by an interactive dialogue with attendees regarding how family engagement is currently supported through everyday practice and identify opportunities for how it can be expanded and celebrated.  Then wrap up training with Holly Bullard, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Florida Policy Institute on how to Advocate for Early Care and Education in today's climate.  

After all the training, FHSA will host its annual awards luncheon to recognize eleven state award recipients for their untiring dedication to Head Start. These individuals were nominated by their program and selected by the FHSA awards committee to represent Florida at the Regional and National levels. Visit our website to read their press releases and get a glimpse of this year's award winners. 

What's Happening Around the State

Children's Home Society of Florida Celebrates 120 Years of Inspiring Good 

Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) is celebrating 120 years of devoted service to children and families. Founded November 17, 1902, CHS was established as a child welfare society focused on placing children in safe, loving healthy homes. Click here to read more about CHS.

Children First Catalyzes Child and Family Services with More than $100,000 in Support, SRQ

Across the state of Florida alone, 38% of people live in a childcare desert, defined as any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contains either no childcare providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as there are licensed childcare slots. As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First serves hundreds of children and their families living at or below the Federal Poverty Level ($23,030 for a family of 3) across 15 locations each year. Click here to read more. 

Op/Ed by Ellyn Okrent, CEO of Fuller Center in Boca Raton

Childcare programs across the United States are in dire straits. The industry is missing more than 10% of its workforce – the result of its inability to raise compensation and provide benefits to keep pace with fast food and retail. However, these are not the only reasons. Click here to read more.

Children's Week 2023

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Three Things Heightening Head Start Awareness

Upcoming Events


07, FHSA Free Music Classes

07, Promoting Substance Use Recovery by Reducing Stigma

07, Avoiding Escalation & Increasing Personal Safety on Home Visits

07, Improving Health Coverage for the Early Care and Education Workforce

07, NHSA Families Unite for Head Start: Parent Advocacy Engagement Call

08, Pre-K Collaborative Inclusion Virtual Meeting

08, Strengthening Male Engagement Through Father-Staff Relationships

09, FAIMH Black Community of Professional Helpers

12-15, NHSA Parent and Family Engagement Conference, Dallas TX

13- 15, Region IV TTA Network | We Are Family: Building Capacity for Long Term Success, Atlanta, GA

13- COUNTdown to Baby! Virtual Baby Shower

14, FHSA Free Music Class

15, CCHC Webinar Series: How CCHCs Improve Staff Health and Wellness

15, What does it take to learn to talk? Supporting Your Baby’s Learning in Everyday Activities

15, Strengthening Collaboration between IDEA Agencies and Head Start Programs 

23-26, FHSA office closed in observance of the Christmas Holiday 

30 - 03, FHSA office closed in observance of the New Year holiday


CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

FHSA Newest Member Benefit
Teachstone CDA Class On Demand
Teachstone CDA Class Facilitated

FHSA has partnered with Teachstone to deliver FHSA members access to their on-demand and/or facilitated CDA with CLASS® program with discounted membership pricing now through September 30, 2023.


Zoom Music Classes for FHSA Members

Free Music Zoom Class

Member Information

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Important Links

COUNTdown to Baby! Virtual Baby Shower

NHSA Winter Leadership Institute will be held January 23-26 in Crystal City, VA.

Join NHSA in helping ensure this Congress is one that understands, values, and empowers the important role Head Start serves for our nation’s most vulnerable children and families.

Ask Congress to Support Head Start Workforce

Congress needs to HOLD THE LINE for Head Start as it works toward finalizing appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023

Children and families from at-risk backgrounds count on Head Start to provide the care and education they need to succeed in school and in life. Inspiring, motivated, and highly qualified staff have always been central to Head Start’s success. Yet, compensation for the early childhood workforce, including Head Start, ranks in the lowest 10% of professions. 

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Join your State Association: FHSA provides members with access to tools, resources, and collaborative relationships empowering your agency's management team, staff, and parents. FHSA offers Individual and Corporate memberships too!

Support your State Association: Help FHSA ensure Florida programs are supported through professional opportunities, research efforts, and legislation so they can continue to provide high-quality services to Florida's most at-risk children and families. 

 Florida Head Start Association
111 N. Gadsden Street, Suite 200
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 694-6477
[email protected]